THE STORY BEHIND NIGHT SKIES NETWORK
Night Skies network was something I dreamed up to give a few of us who would broadcast live on streaming sites such as Ustream, Live Stream and Zapp Live TV a home base. The problem with the other sites is you never knew who was on live or where. Searching through those sites could be a bit of a challenge at times. They were never really user friendly and if you couldn't figure it out for yourself or find someone who might help you out, too bad.
I tried a few sites that would give you and a group what you needed to have your own place like NSN on their servers. The problem was cost for bandwidth. It would have been way to high a cost to go that route. After trying that out on a site I gave up and looked for another way. That turned out to be on my own server with enough bandwidth to handle a good size crowd ,if need be. After testing different streaming software and with some help from a very talented friend at work, I was able to get a working site going. After that I invited Rock Mallin to try the site out along with a select few others. This helped work out the final bugs. Now keep in mind this is a hobby for me. So I saw all of this as money well spent for my hobby. However I did not go out on my own very long before Rock Mallin stepped in and offered to help me out with the cost. He didn't ask for anything in return. He loves video astronomy as much or more than anyone I know. Which may explain why the Mallincam is the number one astronomy video camera. Rock never stops trying to improve his cameras. As I said a moment ago Rock asked for nothing in return for helping me out. However even though it is small he did get the only ad NSN has. This was my way of thanking Rock for his support. He didn't ask for it, I gave it to him.
Unlike all the other streaming sites I wanted to keep pop-up ads out. They have become very intrusive at times on all the other sites going so far as to cut away half the image or making you watch a commercial. So keeping NSN ad free was my second main goal. It was easy and still is. I just say no.
So in the beginning my two main goals were met. A working site easy for people to use and ad free. Some might find NSN hard to use, but let them go try one of the others. They may learn something then.
It was never my intent to have as many broadcasters as there are today and the numbers keep going up. Over 1000 signed up just to watch in less than 2 weeks and that number goes up every day. All of this has taken place in just over 1 year. Most people on the site now days don't know who or how NSN is run so let me explain that a little bit also.
It is run and maintained by one person. This one person does this all in his free time ,he doesn't get paid for it. He doesn't make money from the site either. He does try to help out new broadcasters as much as possible and to fix issues that broadcasters may have. He doesn't always have the time to do all this , but he does try. He is just one person who works for a living so his time is limited. So if he doesn't respond to your problems or request as fast as you think he should sorry, he's doing what he can. You just have to wait your turn or ask someone else on the site for help. Trust that your never going to make him drop everything just for you and your issue. Your asked to please be patient, your help will come. This is after all, a hobby, not life and death. So please just be patient. Well enough about the mean persons who runs the site.
Night Skies Network is growing very fast and so is the hobby of video astronomy. Something not to many other parts of amateur astronomy can say or care to admit. Night Skies Network is more like a world wide astronomy club than anything else I can think of. There are people from all over the world broadcasting and watching on NSN. Many people have made a lot of friends on the site and new ones seem to be made everyday. All amateur astronomers each helping the other learn more about the equipment being used and objects being viewed. All live online and all having fun together as they learn.
So did my little idea for a small site work for me and a few others to use? Yeah I kind of I think it did. Thanks to all who have joined in to watch and to broadcast on Night Skies Network. I think the little club is helping to changing amateur astronomy and bring new people in to the hobby.
My name is Jim Turner and I hope you enjoy Night Skies Network.